The Three Main Reasons Why Hardwood Floors Have Gaps

Hardwood floor gapping can be frustrating. Not only is floor gapping unsightly, but it is a nuisance as you try to clean your floors with each of those spaces holding onto dirt and grime. Big or small, the spaces between your floorboards cause headaches. This gapping can happen for a variety of reasons, and no hardwood floor is resistant to the affect of gapping. However, these unsightly spacings in your floors are more noticeable when you have lighter-colored wood like maple or white oak.

The best way to avoid floor gapping is to stop it before it starts. Understanding the causes of floor gapping and being proactive in maintaining your hardwood floors is the best way to avoid hardwood floor gapping in your home.

The Most Common Cause of Floor Gapping: Moisture 

When you ask the hardwood flooring experts what the most common cause of floor gapping is, they will tell you – moisture. Whether it is too much moisture or not enough, the level of humidity in your home can have a major effect on your hardwood floors. Determining the best hardwood for your home has as much to do with color choice and style as it does to do with the environment you are installing in.

Location Within Your Home

Hardwood flooring is a beautiful addition to any home, there is no denying it. Hardwood floors elevate the style of any room and even bring up the overall property value of a home and it is for this reason you might want to install hardwood floors throughout your entire home. However, there are certain rooms within your home where hardwood flooring is the less than optimal choice and even more so for those living in Kansas City. Rooms to avoid installing hardwood include –

  • Bathrooms – Bathrooms typically see more moisture than any other room in your home. From the typical to the a-typical these rooms see a lot of access water. With everything from the simple everyday steamy showers to the unfortunate broken pipe, these rooms are not ideal for hardwood floors. All the access moisture can warp the wood and cause gapping.
  • Laundry Room – For similar reasons as your bathroom – wet clothes can drip and a washing machine can leak. The access moisture found in and around the laundry room due to the nature of the room leaves it a less than desirable place to install hardwood flooring.
  • Entryways – With each season comes, its own problems, and a little bit of the outside is always dragged in when entering your home. Those wet rain boots or snow and salt-covered winter boots bring in access moisture that can cause additional damage to your hardwood floors. It is for this reason that you often see tile or brick entryways in a lot of Kansas City homes.
  • Basements – Not only are basements the first areas to flood but there is often access moisture found in a basement because it is below “ground level”. To properly maintain the integrity of your hardwood floors you need to manage the moisture levels in the space, due to the high moisture levels found in basements this is especially tricky.


Kansas City experiences all 4 seasons fully and that includes hot humid Summers, rainy Springs, windy Falls, and snowy Winters. In the summers we escape to the cool air and in the winters we bundle up and crank up the heat to stay warm. In those cold winters, we notice our skin getting dry and cracking due to the cold crisp air and the dry heat from inside. It is an indicator to us all that we need to moisturize to avoid cracked broken skin and that is just as true for our floors.

The moisture content in the wood is important to maintain in order to avoid the wood expanding and contracting – the cause of the gapping. Install humidifiers around the home that you can turn on in the winter to help keep up the moisture level within your home. If you can maintain the humidity level in your home, your floors can maintain their natural moisture level and you can avoid floor gapping.

Water Underneath The Floor

The moisture level doesn’t end within the individual wood planks. Access moisture and water can actually seep underneath the hardwood floor as well. When water or moisture gets under hardwood floors, it can cause damage to the flooring surface and cause flooring gapping.

Water damage to your wood floors doesn’t just end at gapping, severe water damage on your wood floors could cause cupping, warping, wood rot, and mold. If you have any of these effects due to water damage you could be looking at a number of different repairs from board replacement and floor refinishing, to a whole new installation.

When access water threatens to destroy your wood floors the first thing you need to do is call the experts at Totta Hardwoods so that we can work with you quickly to dry the floor out and repair the damages before they continue to grow.

Improper Hardwood Floor Installation Can Cause Gapping

If your hardwood floor was installed improperly then you will likely see floor gaps start to appear in your floor anywhere from a month to a year after installation. Installing hardwood floors takes a level of expertise and precision that some companies just don’t have. Make sure you are working with true craftsmen when installing your hardwood flooring to insure they last a lifetime.

When you work with Totta Hardwoods on your hardwood flooring installation, you are working with experts. Our proven process allows us to install your hardwood flooring perfectly the first time so that your floors last a lifetime. Not only do we work with you to determine the best hardwood floors for your home and lifestyle, but we start at the sub-floor to make sure the foundation of your new hardwood floors is right before we even begin the installation. It is this attention to detail that allows our experts to install floors that last.

Work With Experts to Minimize Your Floor Gapping

Hardwood floors are an investment in your home and working to maintain your hardwood so it lasts a lifetime is just as important as using the right flooring contractor to install it. Whether you are looking to install new hardwood floors or you just need help fixing up some gapping issues in your existing hardwood floor – work with a hardwood flooring expert.

If you are looking for a hardwood flooring contractor in Kansas City, look no further than Totta Hardwoods. Contact us today to talk through your hardwood floor gapping concerns.

Comments 1

  1. Making sure that we install hardwood floors the right way could indeed be important. I can see why this might be a mistake we’d end up committing, especially if we do a DIY installation for a material this crucial. I’ll work on that by looking for a hardwood provider so they can help me out with something like this to avoid gaps at home.

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